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L I T E R A T U R E,
L O N D O N :
HE year we treat of, afforded much
matter for History, and perhaps still more for Speculation. Though fruitful in great and extraordinary events, it seemed to threaten more than it expressly told. A war which desolated a great part of Europe, and might in its consequences have affected the political system of the whole, appeared at this time, as little more than a secondary objećt of consideration. Battles and sieges, the destruction of armies and fleets, and the ruin of countries, however distant the scene of ačtion, would, in times of less business and importance, have nearly superseded all other matter, and have been considered as the only obječts, that demanded the care of the Writer, or that claimed the attention of the Public.
of observation or discussion may be, others have arisen nearer home, by which, as a nation, we are more immediately affected. The extraordinary movements of some of our great neighbours, and the hostile appearances for fome time, on the side, at least, of one of them, were more than objećts of curiosity; and though the storm seems for the present blown over, it has afforded sufficient cause for refle&tion. The issue of the present convulfions in France, whether they terminate in increasing the despotism of the Monarch, or in regaining or enlarging the rights or liberties of the People, must be to us a matter of great importance. Fortunate, we should think it, if in this precarious and critical state of affairs, when almost every part of Europe presents an ample field for discussion; our own domestic concerns were in so happy a situation, as not to furnish the Patriot and Politician with the most just and serious anxiety for the welfare of his own country.